[Interview] If the content is King then data is the Queen – Rohit Onkar

Rohit Onkar-Loylty Rewards Mngt Pvt Ltd

About Rohit Onkar

Rohit Onkar is an experienced digital marketing professional, business leader, and trainer. Rohit has been able to successfully set up processes at scale, manage cross-functional teams, enhance the profitability of organizations and lead them to desired goals. He is the Head of Digital at Loylty Rewards Mngt Pvt Ltd where his role is to oversee daily digital marketing campaigns, setting up processes at scale, identifying new monetization opportunities to create fresh revenue streams and managing a cross-functional team responsible for daily campaign execution.

Rohit shared his views with us on the future of Indian digital and social media marketing Industry and gave some valuable tips to the young minds aspiring for a career in Digital Marketing.

Ques 1: According to you which are the companies that have done path-breaking stuff in the digital industry in the last few years?  

I believe that companies that do path-breaking stuff stay humble and don’t go after trying to win every second digital marketing award. It’s also important to understand that a digital strategy is only path-breaking if it influences an end business metric and is sustainable. In the last few years, 3 brands have caught my attention:

  • Amul: Every so-called “social media expert” will tell you that social media should be used as an engagement tool and not as a tool to talk about your product. It’s ironic however that their own brand tries so hard to sell to people on social platforms. Amul is one of the few Indian brands that has understood social media and uses it to truly engage existing and new customers. Take a look at their Facebook Page to understand why I feel that they have done path-breaking stuff
  • Reward Me: Seldom do you see an Indian company get content marketing right. P&G has created a portal which not only attracts a lot of traffic but what’s interesting to note is that the majority of their traffic is from organic search. It’s great to see this portal rank for “how to” keywords – “how to remove tan” and competitive keywords like “dandruff home remedies”. Now that’s how you growth hacks free traffic!
  • GoDaddy: Most Indian brands don’t understand that paid marketing is a double-edged sword. I meet a lot of CMOs who often tell me that their teams are doing a stellar job with their paid marketing campaigns. I hear stuff like – “Re-marketing works fantastically well for my brand”, “xyz DSP has reduced my CPA by 50%”. However they fail to realize that the majority of these campaigns end up targeting people who are already at the bottom of the funnel – they have spent enough time on your website and have recently visited your website. A high percentage of such users will come back and purchase from you irrespective of what you do or do not do. It’s pointless spending your advertising money on them. What does work, however, is, personalization. GoDaddy has been doing a stellar job in re-marketing to users based on the user’s exact search term on their website. If you are looking for a domain and it’s available and you don’t end up buying it, GoDaddy will smartly re-market to you with an ad copy containing your domain name. Now that’s the sort of re-marketing that works – personalization ahead of cash burn!

Ques 2: Where do you see the Indian social media marketing industry as compared to its global counterparts?

It’s definitely more exciting. I see a huge opportunity for social networks which are designed specifically for a linguistic group. I think over the last 10 odd years we have only seen social media from an English speaking audience perspective. The next 10 years will see more focus on overall inclusion. Globally companies use consumer data in a much better manner to attribute an increase in sales from social networks. With social networks knowing so much about an individual, I see Indian companies using big data in a much better manner in the years to come.

Ques 3: “Content is King” This is the most cliché line in the marketing world. What are your thoughts on that?

Though the line is clichéd, there is a lot of truth in it. However content without data is nothing. If the content is King then data is the Queen. You need to look at data to understand what kind of content works and be prepared for surprises.

Ques 4: Do you see voice search assistants like Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant overtaking traditional search by the end of the decade. How will the industry cope with these changes? 

Not by the end of this decade at least. Voice still has a long way to go in the Indian context. There is a need for products that understand different dialects, vernacular words and emotions. As far as the industry is concerned, whenever the shift happens to voice, you will see a lot more focus on brands trying to grab the user’s attention for long tail search queries.

Ques 5: What would you advise to the young minds aspiring for a career in Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing is the only field where irrespective of the number of years of experience, you can go up to anybody, at any level and challenge them with data. Over the years, I have realized that in order to be successful in digital marketing, you need three qualities:

  • Ability to research, research and research 
  • Ability to admit that YOU are not the consumer – allow data to remove your biases 
  • Ability to share what you know – never hold back information


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